Thursday, Mar 25, 2021, 17:25 Economy

Intel Building ARM Chips – Would Gladly Manufacture For Apple

Intel's had a number of issues over the last few months, which has led the company to seek assistance from other manufacturers. Even Apple's partner, TSMC, is a potential candidate for the production of certain Intel products. However, Intel revealed this week that they'd much rather be working in exactly the opposite manner – that is, as a contract manufacturer for individual designs. Intel has long faced criticism for the lack of options for large customers, such as companies, who don't want chips from Intel's regular selection. Thus, the company's recent declaration shows will on the part of the new Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, to address these concerns for shareholders.

20 Billion Invested In New Factories – Also For ARM Chips
As part of the new "IDM 2.0" initiative, Intel is investing 20 billion into new plants in Arizona, adopting the 7nm production process and expanding capacity for other manufacturers. Explicitly, the company would like to manufacture individual SoCs based on the ARM platform. As a large part of the industry is slowly beginning towards ARM, away from x86, Intel would like to have at least part of the pie. There's also talk of the open platform RISC-V. However, the highest volume of production is still planned for x86. Intel's new strategy should be fully in place by 2023, according to the company itself.

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Intel's planed Gigafactory.


Intel Eager To Do Business With Apple
In a Q&A, Gelsinger mentioned that Intel would be eager to convince companies such as Amazon, Cisco, Qualcomm, IBM, and Microsoft of its new capabilities. Apple was also explicitly mentioned, as the company is eager to return to producing chips for the company. Of course, this isn't to say that the company is under any illusion that Apple will simply come running back to them, arms wide-open across a green field in a meadow between 2 mountains, but that's not to say that Intel wouldn't welcome such an occurrence. At the time, there's also no indication of Apple being displeased with its current production partner, TSMC. As often discussed, one of the many reasons that the TSMC produced and Apple-designed M1 chip is so superior to Intel's chipsets is due to TSMC's competence in the field of chip production as well as the company's production process. At this point in time, Intel quite frankly can't compare.

A Dangerous Plan
One question put Gelsinger on the spot: Why should the public, shareholders, investors, or other companies believe that Intel is capable of taking on production contracts for other companies right now, whilst currently having issues with producing even Intel processors? The CEO's response was rather vague, that contract-manufacturing is a specific division at the company and the company is simply attempting to meet the needs of its customers. Gelsinger ended the round with the following statement, "The old Intel is now the new Intel!"

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